G-Technology G-Connect review:

G-Technology G-Connect

As a NAS server, the drive offers just 500GB, a very small amount for an entire network. Plus it lacks many features other NAS servers would offer, such as support for an FTP server, backup, and so on. The drive does work with Time Machine for Macs, but in this case it will need to be formatted in HFS+, which means it won't work with Windows anymore as a portable drive. Also note that the G-Connect's Gigabit Ethernet port will only work as a regular 10/100 Ethernet port -- some 10 times slower -- if its built-in Wi-Fi network is turned on. In this case, it's not much of a NAS server.

The drive comes with a built-in wireless router that supports up to five Wi-Fi clients. Clients connected to its Wi-Fi network can stream or read data from it either via a mobile app (currently available only for iOS devices) or via a Web interface. In this case, if the G-Connect is connected to an Internet source via its network port, its connected clients can also access the Internet. They won't be able to access resources, such as printers or files, of the network that the G-Connect is plugged into, however. While this function worked well in my trial, and I suspect that this is the way most users would use the G-Connect, the fact that it doesn't come with battery makes it much less useful than it could be. This means you can't use it when flying, or when you're in a car, or out and about. At its current state, the G-Connect is only useful to travelers who stay places with wired Internet services, since it helps share the Internet connection.

It's worth noting that the G-Connect is about the same physical size than the GoFlex Satellite, so it's unacceptable that it doesn't have a battery. The Satellite's built-in battery offers up to 9 hours of usage, with thelatest firmware update. To be fair, the Satellite doesn't come with a network port, but it does have the ability to bridge an existing Internet-ready Wi-Fi network to its connected clients, to also offer Internet access to them.

The G-Connect mobile app is very similar to that of the Satellite and allows for browsing and streaming media content stored on the G-Connect. I tried it with a new iPad and an iPhone and it worked as expected. This means, now, with 500GB, you can store your entire media library by simply dragging and dropping everything over to the G-Connect when plugged into your computer via its USB port.

As an external hard drive, the G-Connect offered about 31MBps in my testing for both writing and reading. That was quite fast compared with other USB 2.0-based external hard drives, but very slow compared to USB 3.0-based drives.

As a media streamer, the drive worked as expected.

USB 2.0 external hard drive performance scores (in MBps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Seagate Satellite
G-Technology G-Connect
LaCie FastKey
Seagate Backup Plus
LaCie Minimus USB 3.0
Clickfree C6
Clickfree C2N
Seagate GoFlex Slim

The G-Connect is a concoction of many good ideas, of which none is well executed. At its current state, unless you live from hotel to hotel, I find no reason for you not to get the GoFlex Satellite instead.

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